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Jazz in the Valley Festival Returns to Poughkeepsie on August 20th


Jazz in the Valley returns to Poughkeepsie for its 17th annual celebration of America’s music by the Walkway Over the Hudson on Sunday, August 20! The Jazz in the Valley Festival fills Waryas Park with music, in an afternoon full of stars; the lineup includes artists such as Delfeayo Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Javon Jackson, Elio Villafranca, Christopher Dean Sullivan, Mala Waldron, Steve Nelson, Neil Clarke, and Jimmy Cobb.

On the main stage see headline acts Jeff "Siege" Siegel Sextet, Christopher Dean Sullivan Ensemble, Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators, Swing Unlimited, and artist Juliette Hemingway. The festival’s second stage for free performances by regional musicians has moved to Upper Landing Park directly adjacent to the Walkway over the Hudson. A food court and global marketplace at Waryas Park add more flavors to the day. . Jazz in the Valley is presented by the Hudson Valley based non-profit organization TRANSART & Cultural Services.

No car? No problem! Metro-North Railroad offers a discount rail and festival package and Waryas Park is an easy walk from the station. Start your day with a scenic train ride along the Hudson River on the Metro-North to Poughkeepsie. Walk toward the river from the train station as the gates open at 11am. You won’t miss a beat when the music starts at 12pm.

Under the big tent, you’ll groove to the outstanding music of:

  • Jeff "Siege" Siegel Sextet: Jeff "Siege" Siegel - Drums, Dylan Canterbury - Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Erica Lindsay - Tenor Saxophone, Francesca Tanksley - Piano, Rich Syracuse - Bass, and Fred Berryhill – Percussion.
  • Christopher Dean Sullivan Ensemble: Christopher Dean Sullivan - Bass, Mala Waldron - Piano/Vocals, Bobby Sanabria - Drums, and Steve Nelson – Vibes.
  • Elio Villafranca and The Jass Syncopators: Elio Villafranca - Piano/Composer, Greg Tardy - Tenor Sax, Bruce Harris - Trumpet, Dion Parson - Drums, Peter Slavov - Bass, and Miguelito Valdes – Percussion.
  • Swing Unlimited: Delfeayo Marsalis - Trombone, Cyrus Chestnut - Piano, Javon Jackson - Tenor Sax, Jimmy Cobb - Drums, and David Williams – Bass.
  • Juliette Hemingway is featured fine artist.  These superb bands rock the main stage (ticketed seats) while others jam on the pavilion stage (free) all day long.

TORSONE MEMORIAL STAGE at UPPER LANDING PARK (music begins at 1 pm, free to everyone) features tunes by The New Groove, Poughkeepsie Funk, and The Dutchess Community College Alumni Jazz Combo.

Discounted early bird tickets are $40 through August 1. After that general admission is $50, and $60 at the gate. Students with valid ID gain entrance for $20. Tickets can be purchased online through the festival’s website or in person at Blue-Byrds Haberdashery & Music at 320 Wall Street in Kingston, and 845-339-3174. For group ticket sales, directions and information about Jazz in the Valley contact TRANSART at info@transartinc.org or (845) 384-6350. For a combination ticket and round trip bus travel from New York City call (917) 345-1357 or (646) 643-3035.

Promotional partners for Jazz in the Valley are Metro-North, Dutchess Tourism, and the Poughkeepsie Journal. This program’s funding also comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Arts Mid-Hudson.  Additional program support is provided by Central Hudson, Westchester Medical Center Network, Poughkeepsie Italian Center, Exempt Fireman’s Association, and the City of Poughkeepsie.

Bassist Christopher Dean Sullivan performed and recorded with Archie Schepp, Sheila Jordan, Yusef Lateef, Odean Pope, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Hart, Irene Reid, Jon Faddis, Vanessa Rubin, Eddie Henderson, Bob Gluck, Charli Persip, and Stanley Turrentine. Chris’ discography runs from the traditional art forms to open free style expressions.

Mala Walton Piano/Vocals - A NYC native, she studied jazz piano, voice & composition with Makanda Ken McIntyre, Richard Harper, Warren Smith and Amina Claudine Myers, at SUNY Old Westbury, earning a BA Degree. Her recordings include “Lullabye”, her debut and tribute to godmother Billie Holiday and “He’s My Father”, with her father  Mal Waldron. She’s performed in Japan, France, Italy, Belgium, Italy, and Russia.

Pianist Elio Villafranca was born in Cuba and classically trained in percussion and composition. He’s resident professor at Temple University. Villafranca is at the forefront of musicians making major creative contributions to the development of jazz. His performance, composition and coproduction of “Things I Wanted To Do” by Chembo Corniel was Grammy nominated as “Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year” in 2010.

The incredible Jazz in the Valley Festival will take over Poughkeepsie’s pretty Waryas Park with the jazz beat on Sunday, August 20th from 12 noon to 6 pm. Lift the audience vibes with your presence! Enjoy terrific music with the picturesque Hudson River and Catskill Mountains as the backdrop. Early Bird Tickets ($40) on sale thru August 1st; then tickets are $50, and $20 for students.

TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc., is a West Park non-profit arts organization promoting awareness of the art, history and popular culture of people of African descent. TRANSART reaches out to students in public education to communicate with kids about how cool the arts can be, whether it’s fine art, visual art, performance art or music of all kinds. “We go into the schools all over the Hudson Valley to educate underserved kids through programs and classes including Behind the Beat: Intro to Jazz,” says founder and president Greer Smith. During Behind the Beat sessions, professional musicians interact with area band students. Other opportunities include drumming workshops, musical assemblies and master classes.

Beyond school programs, each August TRANSART becomes a concert promoter with Jazz in the Valley to show professional musicians in action.  “With Jazz in the Valley the audience gets to experience the thrill of live music with masters of the genre,” says Smith. TRANSART hopes to create a new generation of jazz lovers and listeners by educating students about the history of jazz and its cultural relevance in minority communities. “Kids need to see they are part of something bigger, part of a history, an artistic movement that’s alive,” says Smith.

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